The second day of the League of Legends Worlds 2018 was not as exciting as Day 1. However, it provided a glimpse into the competitions meta going forth. For North American fans, this was a momentous occasion as North America had a team int he semifinals for the first time since Season 1.
Fnatic vs Edward Gaming.
The only remaining regional number one seed Fnatic came into this match as the favourites. However, if Day 1 of the quarterfinals was anything to go by, then Fnatic could not take this match for granted.
The first game saw Edward Gaming come into the series with a clear gameplan. They put a heavy focus on the early game constantly pressuring Fnatic and picking their team fights. Fnatic ended up playing EDG’s game and that was their biggest mistake. They were never able to recover from the early setbacks. Edward Gaming took the lead very early in the series 1-0.
However, from the second game onwards, it seemed like Fnatic had a clear understanding of EDG’s playstyle. EDG continued to double down on their early game strength. However, this time around, Fnatic was much better prepared to handle the Chinese roster. They played the game according to their own pace, picking up steam around the mid-game when they are stronger. Fnatic’s slow pace game triumphed against EDG”s unwillingness to change their style. The story was quite similar to the rest of the series as well. Fnatic’s dominance in the latter half of the series came via their read into the game and the meta of the particular series. While their individual skill is still one of the best, they don’t always need to rely on it to win their matches.
This match was crucial for Fnatic if they were to realise their dream of winning the Worlds. EDG is one of the stronger teams at the Worlds 2018 and Fnatic could very well have been eliminated by the Chinese team. Fnatic will face off against Cloud9 in the semifinals.
Cloud9 vs Afreeca Freecs.
The first North American team to defeat an LCK team in a best of Five series at the Worlds, this was a historic series. Cloud9 was not expected to be a top tier team at the Worlds especially in face of other stronger teams from different regions. Not only have they surpassed expectations when they reached the quarterfinals, but their 3-0 victory over Afreeca Freecs was an achievement of sorts.
Afreeca Freecs was no walkover, they had a strong understanding of the game and their strengths. Unfortunately for the team, their understanding of the meta at Worlds 2018 seems woefully inadequate. The early game dominance that has been the characteristic feature at Worlds 2018 was definitely missing from the LCK team’s gameplay.
The first game saw Cloud9 dominate the early laning phase. Afreeca Freecs had a late game composition. However, Cloud9’s perfect read of the game and their knowledge of when their team is the strongest was crucial. Cloud9 was able to push through and take objectives when it mattered the most.
Each member of the Cloud9 team was able to shine in the series. However, it was the collective effort of the team which proved to be the success of the roster. The team had a great read of their opponents and this definitely provides hope to NA fans for the very slim chance of a Worlds 2018 victory.
Ofcourse with teams such as Fnatic, Invictus Gaming and G2 for company, Cloud9 does seem to be the weakest team remaining. The semifinals of the Worlds 2018 will take place on October 28th.